Community pharmacists will have to include patients diagnosed with or at risk of cardiovascular disease in medicine compliance reviews, from next year.

Starting from January 2015, pharmacists will be expected to offer medicine use reviews (MURS) to patients taking four or more medications for cardiovascular disease.

Currently, target groups for MURs are patients taking high-risk medicines, patients recently discharged from hospital with changes to their medication and patients with respiratory disease.

At least half of all MURs carried out by pharmacies every year should be on patients from the target groups – a target that is set to rise to at least 70% of MURS carried out every financial year starting April 2015. 

Director of Numark pharmacy services, Mimi Lau welcomed the additions of a new MUR and said: “It is claimed a third of prescriptions are for cardiovascular disease with more than 65 million prescriptions annually for high blood pressure, heart failure or high cholesterol.

“This continues to raise awareness of pharmacy services to patients and recognises the value of an intervention by the pharmacist.

“As there is a clear link between MURs and New Medicine Services, pharmacists should be identifying these patients and recruiting them for both services.”